Yves Saint Laurent’s Asian Dreams


Yves Saint Laurent, Illustration sketch for the Autumn-Winter 1977 Haute Couture collection. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris

From 2 October until 27 January 2019, the Yves Saint Laurent museum is to focus on the designer’s ‘Asian period’.

For the institution’s first thematic exhibition, the Yves Saint Laurent museum, which opened in October 2017, an extensive retrospective will take place, with an overview of the French designer’s work during the period in which Asian influences were at the heart of his creations. Saint Laurent fell in love with the wonders of Kyoto in 1963. In 1977 he payed homage to imperial China with his runway show Les Chinoises. Five years later he began taking inspiration from India. Some of his creations took the form of a reworking of Japanese kimonos while other pieces were inspired by royal Indian coats or other traditional Chinese garments. These reinterpretations, in cascades of silk and elaborate motifs, highlight the Asian influence throughout his work.

From Japan to India and China, the exhibition L’Asie rêvée de Yves Saint Laurent will highlight around 50 haute couture silhouettes inspired by the designers extensive travels. Presented for the first time in public, these pieces will be displayed alongside numerous artefacts lent by the national Asian art museum, the Guimet Museum (MNAAG) as well as private collectors. Visitors to the exhibition will also find never-seen-before photos as well as jewellery and sketches. The very incarnation of a specifically French elegance and freedom, Saint Laurent continues to surprise.

Yves Saint Laurent, Illustration sketch. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris

Yves Saint Laurent, Research sketch for the launch of Opium, circa 1977. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris

Evening ensembles, Autumn-Winter 1994 Haute Couture collection © Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris / Sophie Carre

Evening ensemble, Autumn-Winter 1977 Haute Couture collection © Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris / Sophie Carre

Yves Saint Laurent and a courtesane wearing traditional garments during his first trip to Kyoto, Japan, April 1963 © Rights reserved

Yves Saint Laurent Museum

5 avenue Marceau, 75016, Paris

October 2 - January 27